In Israel, a new five month scholarship program being offered to young aspiring athletes – one of them could be you.
Young adults in the thousands have recently returned from a year (or two or three) in Israeli yeshivas and seminaries, full of youthful exuberance and idealism. Many who planned on going to college have now decided that secular studies or employment are not for them. They want to be full time learners, or marry one.
The girls in particular see themselves as neshei chayil - they will work and be the breadwinner of the family and basically raise their kids on their own so that they can free up their husband’s time so he can immerse himself in Torah.
These naïve young ladies have what I call the Rebbetzin Akiva Syndrome. This state of mind is named after Rochel, the wife of Rabbi Akiva, a girl brought up in the lap of luxury. She gave it all up to marry Akiva, determined that her husband devote all his time to learning, even if it meant that he was away from home most of the time and she would have a very reduced standard of living. Those teachers and principals who have influenced these impressionable kids to go on that derech may genuinely feel that they are putting them on the path of true Torah happiness. But I can’t help wonder if discussions on the spiritual beauty of such as lifestyle were balanced out with a reality check.
Without doubt, sacrificing physical and emotional comfort all in the cause of Torah is a very noble aspiration, but daydreams can turn into living nightmares when reality hits. While many girls plan on emulating Mrs. Akiva, they, not surprisingly, are not made up of the same stuff.
Eventually, the day to day actuality of juggling babies, working outside the home, household chores and crises and dealing with endless, unavoidable expenses become overwhelming for many of these girls, many of whom grew up in homes where there was money to pay for bills as needed and on time. Usually there was money for hired help to keep the house presentable, and funds and time for the lady of the house to take care of her own needs.
When I was a teenager, a kallah came into my family’s shoe-store (I helped out on Sundays) and with pride and radiant eyes told me that after her chasanah - (a lovely affair that her financially comfortable parents made for her) – she was going to live in Eretz Yisrael and work while her husband went to yeshiva. I wished her well but I had a feeling that she didn’t know what she was getting into. About four years later, I bumped into her. This time her eyes were dull with weariness and her face was haggard, making her look years older than her mid-twenties. She was still the ayshes chayil - working and being for all intents and purposes a
single mother (she had two pre-schoolers and was expecting) while her husband learned.
No doubt that over the ensuing years, this girl’s parents helped her financially, but then again, she had several brothers and sisters who also wanted a learning lifestyle. While the parents who were professionals might have the financial ability to help their married children, I doubt
there was enough money to go around for the next generation when collectively, there would be at least 20-30 grandchildren. These children when they grow up – as some of them are doing - will between them likely have over 100 children. Even millionaires would have trouble paying the rent or mortgage for so many.
Some young men who are learning are doing what’s practical but unfair – they only go out with wealthier girls because parnasah has to come from somewhere, and stressed-out wives are not conducive to a healthy marriage. Thus, as a worried yeshivish father wrote recently in The Jewish Press, his outstanding daughters were having trouble getting dates because he is not wealthy. The sad part of all this is that some of these learners aren’t even genuine – they are mediocre students looking for a free ride through life.
The fact is – not everyone is cut out to handle long term struggling – and there is nothing to be ashamed about that. And those young men and women who are leaning towards a college education or business should not be made to feel that they copped out and let their rebbis/ teachers down. Ironically, these are the baalei-battim who years later have the financial wherewithal to support the yeshivas and kollels.
After the Holocaust, there was a crucial need for an infusion of Torah learning to replace that what was destroyed in Europe. Today, with Hashem’s help, Yiddishkeit has been replenished. At this juncture, as a frum doctor pointed out, getting into a Kollel should be as hard as getting
into Harvard Medical School. Only the genuine article, young men whose hearts are in learning, the creme de la creme, should be accepted into long term learning programs and supported. The free-riders should be weeded out. Seminaries should paint a realistic view of life as the wife of a learner – both the good and the challenges.
One can’t live on ideals… and the buck stops… eventually, leaving entire generations of poverty-stricken families. For the sake of shalom bayis and the well-being of our sons and daughters, it’s time for the schools to present all the possibilities so that the kids can make informed choices, without shame or guilt.
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Leah Katz, a TeenZone camper at Oorah’s TheZone summer camp and an 11th grader at Midwood High School, read her winning essay about how TheZone changed her views on Judaism at the Jewish Heritage Awards Ceremony held at Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’s office in April. The purpose of the Jewish Heritage Essay Contest is to acquaint public school students with Jewish history and customs and to help foster a deeper understanding of Jewish culture. The contest is open to students of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Leah’s essay is reproduced in full below.
Moshe Sharett, the head of the Jewish Agency’s Political Department, visited Egypt in 1945. In Cairo he met a most remarkable young woman, a beautiful journalist who was the darling of Egyptian high society – from high-ranking military brass, to culture icons and Muslim sheikhs, to the court of King Faruk.
The two proceeded to talk about everyday things and surprisingly her mother-in-law did not find anything else to criticize. This occurred a few more times, with my client changing the topic every time by complimenting her mother-in-law or mentioning something positive about her.
There is always a lot of confusion surrounding sensory processing disorder – mainly because there are many different diagnoses that fall under the catch-all phrase sensory processing disorder (SPD). Among them are three specific subcategories:
The doctor had warned us that even if we did everything right and followed the protocol after the follicle was of the right size, there was no guarantee of success. Fertilization still had to occur, and just like couples do not necessarily become pregnant every month, we had no way to know if we were actually expecting for two full weeks.
The next chapter of the award-winning novel.
Jewish Press columnist Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, founder and president of Hineni, the international Torah outreach organization, recently addressed an overflowing audience at the Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine in southern California. Rebbetzin Jungreis’s address theme, “Making a Good Relationship Magical,” was apropos for the evening’s main mission: raising funds for the Irvine community’s mikveh.
You have probably been planning your marriage since you were about three. Let’s fast-forward to a big milestone– your twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. (Don’t worry, you don’t look a day over twenty one!) Now, would you appreciate your husband buying you a dozen roses that some florist recommended?
As I mentioned in my earlier articles about our family trip to Israel, our night flight went pretty smooth, thanks to my children’s willingness to sleep throughout the flight. I, on the other hand, didn’t sleep a wink and I wasn’t feeling too great by the time we landed. But we were finally in Israel, and just being in the beautifully renovated Ben Gurion airport and hearing all the Hebrew around us was exciting enough.
While all the flowers that grace your Shavuos table will surely be a delight to your eye, these will be a delight for your palette as well. Create them at any level, simple or sophisticated; any way you make them they’re sure to be a sensation.
Welcome back to “You’re Asking Me?” where we attempt to answer questions sent in by people who fortunately have fake names, so they won’t be embarrassed. I don’t know how they got through school, though.
Speechless wonder is the reaction to the beautiful vision seen though the Arch of the Keshet Cave at the Adamit Park in the Galilee. One of the most amazing natural wonders in Eretz Yisrael, the Me’arat Hakeshet — also known as the Rainbow Cave or Arch Cave — can be found up against the Israel-Lebanon border just a few kilometers from Rosh Hanikra and the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea. It is situated amid the wild scenery on the cliffs of Nachal Betzet and Nachal Namer, on the Adamit Ridge.
One of the subjects I was taught as a young child in school was Tefillah. Since we spoke only Ivrit during our Limudei Kodesh and secular Hebrew studies – literature, creative writing and Jewish history – we pretty much understood the words we were davening.
Shortly before Pesach, I received a rather agitated call from a long time reader of The Jewish Press who pleaded with me to write a column regarding what she insisted was the unwarranted high cost of Pesach food – in particular shmurah matzah – and how hard it was for young families to pay what she felt were over-inflated prices in order to keep strictly kosher.
The price of deliberate obliviousness is very high – emotionally, physically, socially, and financially.
How is it possible that a person of seemingly normal intelligence (nowhere does it say he is simple) not have the ability to ask a question – to not react and enquire as to the why of the hustle and bustle around him?
It was one of those cold, rain-soaked evenings – the kind that make you look forward to a hot drink, a good book and a soft couch to curl up on. With those happy thoughts in mind, I proceeded to cross to the other side of the street.
The other day I was shopping at a large supermarket and happened to go down the frozen foods aisle, past the endless freezers containing every imaginable flavor, shape and size of ice cream. I rarely buy. Rather I am like a tourist in a museum – gawking at wondrous objects that I know I can’t take home with me.
He stood his ground despite the intense pressure to do what everyone else was doing. His integrity was more important to him than “fitting in.”
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/reality-check-the-buck-does-stop/2003/09/03/
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